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O'Shea hails 'special' Monye

Conor O'Shea hailed "special" Ugo Monye after the long-serving Harlequins wing marked his final appearance at Twickenham Stoop with a pair of tries.

Monye crossed in each half but it was not enough to prevent Bath from completing a 27-26 victory that guarantees their presence in the semi-finals of the Aviva Premiership play-offs with one match of the regular season remaining.

The 32-year-old former England and British and Irish Lions wing retires after next weekend's trip to Newcastle having served his only club Quins since 2002, scoring 89 tries in 241 appearances in the process.

"Ugo said to me, 'I don't know where that came from'. His first try was a finish but he had started the game really well," director of rugby O'Shea said.

"His second try - what a finish. That was just raw power. And I also like the way he stood up when Sam Burgess unloaded on him. He is very special.

"I'll do well to get him on the pitch against Newcastle next weekend because he seemed to enjoy his swansong. He had a big bottle of champagne with him!"

Second-placed Bath moved eight points clear of Saracens and will guarantee a home semi-final in the play-offs if they dispatch Gloucester at the Recreation Ground next Saturday.

Head coach Mike Ford insists the victory over Quins strengthens their conviction that 2015 is the year they will be crowned Premiership champions.

"Quins played very well and kept coming at us, but we kept our composure and didn't panic at any stage," Ford said.

"Matt Banahan's try-saving tackle on George Lowe was crucial, George Ford kicked his goals and we take the four points and move on.

"Going into the last game of the season we know that a home win will secure us second place.

"We're very pleased because it just adds to the belief we have at the moment that we're a good side and could potentially win this year."

Burgess impressed on his third start at blindside flanker and Ford admitted he will take some shifting from the back row. England view the rugby league convert as an inside centre.

"Now we can say he has the shirt. He was outstanding. Sam's carries were good," Ford said.

"There was one loose offload, but we won't stop him offloading. The more he plays the better he'll get."


From Belfast Telegraph